3 Brand Best Practices In a Natural Disaster

 

As hurricane season starts in Florida and wildfire season continues in the California drought and tornadoes barrel through the Mid West, it is tempting to capitalize on the news event in social media. This is of course what trips up brands on a regular basis.

Social media managers around the world wake up each morning trying to figure out the best way to make their brand relevant that day, putting brands squarely in the middle of the challenge traditional media has struggled with for years- if you’re not a hard news site, what do you talk about when everyone is focused on a natural disaster.

In the food industry, it’s tempting to post, bone warming recipes and tips explaining why your product is just the perfect one to stock up on in the case of an emergency.

Try to restrain yourself.

Instead follow these three tips for posting about your product when everyone is thinking of something else.

  1. Be subtle . Yes, it is correct to let consumers know you are aware of the situation, but not by tying your product into the emergency. Offer your thoughts and/or prayers, but don’t sell.

 

  1. Be Relevant without being pushy. If your product IS one that is typically, emphasis on typically, included in an emergency situation ( canned soup, bottled water, dry foods) offer your audience tips. …but focus on the bigger picture and include your product in an entire list of  emergency products.

 

  1. Enter into the conversation only when invited. It’s tempting to jump into a conversation with the hashtag du jour, but when lives and livelihood are a stake, even a simple, ”be safe” can be misinterpreted. Stay on the safe side and acknowledge rather than drive the conversation.

Does this post capitalize on the current situation? Possibly. It was on my mind this morning as I made my morning posts. Hopefully I’ve shared appropriately. You can let me know.

Maryanne Conlin, CEO of RedRopesDigital likes maintaining relationships especially when they lead to good conversation    and good food.

The Changing Economics of Produce

PMA High Performence Mgt Conference

Slide from my recent session at The Produce Marketing Association High Performance Management Conference.  I’m still working out the challenges and opportunities from this trend, but digital communication with consumers will play a big role. What do you think?

 

headshot newMaryanne Conlin is an award-winning digital marketing expert and CEO of RedRopes Digital, a consulting firm focused on building strong digital brands. Check back in a few days to access her December 5th presentation at the PMA High Performance Management Conference . Meanwhile, connect with her on Twitter @maryanneconlin.

 

Success and Fun with User Generated Content

UGC is such a techy sounding term for asking fans to send in what makes them love your brand. (UGC) User Generated Content, at its core is people sharing their personal stories.

Mashable’s story today on UGC, concentrated on fashion brands, with a CPG, feel good campaign thrown in as well, but some of the real opportunities are for food brands, though, most every B2C brand can benefit.

User generated content, is tapping into the vast number of users of your product and letting them share how they use it. Trust me, they’ll think of ways you never even considered!

Here’s an example of a program we ran on Pinterest for Avocados from Mexico to generate recipe ideas. I would have thought of avocado chiffon pie?

 

ugc pinterest shot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And consider The Pillsbury back-off – probably the first large scale example of UGC

pillsbury

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The key to a successful UGC campaign in the social world is 360 integration. Create your campaign. Be creative and integrate as many of your social sites into the program as possible. Have a sharing option on Instagram; enter through Facebook; encourage photos and video on Twitter.

User generated Content stretches your marketing budget, drives organic traffic to your website and engages your fans. Yes, there are a number of legal hurdles, easy to address once you know the ropes. And coming up with a creative idea in a noise filled social media space can be challenging, but reaching out to fans is an easy way to accomplish two goals at once – engagement and content – UGC-E?

 

headshot newMaryanne Conlin is CEO of RedRopes Digital and Partner Digital Strategy with 4GreenPs. She loves to create  content and read content that other people create.

A Yummy Bi-lingual Campaign

It’s pretty awesome to see a write up on your work from a totally unexpected source! When I ran across this post A yummy bilingual social campaign and website, I Love Avocados / Amo Los Aguacates, I was happy to see our work for client, Avocados From Mexico highlighted by another agency. Thanks Content Hunting!

i_love_avocados

As noted in the article, we use two hashtags, one in English #Iloveavocados and one in Spanish #amolosaguacates and though not noticed by the author, we do both tweet and post on Facebook in both languages… though a lot more in English – reflecting the nature of the mostly 2nd and 3rd generation, English dominant, digital Latina.

amo_los_aguacates

Managing an effective digital campaign, requires looking at every piece of your digital program and integrating it into the program…times two if the campaign is bilingual! So, for Avocados From Mexico, each platform and each social media site gets in on the act on every promotion we run.

So nice to hear these words:

All in all, a very well managed campaign! And now I’m hungry…

headshot newMaryanne Conlin is CEO of RedRopes Digital and Partner Digital Strategy with 4GreenPs. Contact her today for information on building better digital campaigns!

Drive Repeat Purchase With Food Fusion

 Since I work in the food industry, in particular with brands of less well known foods…by choice, I might add, I am always on the look out for ways to incorporate the unusual into the American diet.

I’m fortunate that I tend to work for truly healthy foods – but I get to use the “health” message, far less often than the “tasty” one. Wow – look at this delicious, delectable way to use fresh subterranean spinach pear … can you imagine how you will love biting into this? Incidentally, go ahead…it’s healthy too.

Sold!

Once!

Convincing trial is less arduous than one might think in this “Foodie’ culture of ours – people are willing to try. It’s helping them figure out how to actually use this new “stuff” they brought home, on a regular basis and put in their cabinet or frig that can be challenging.

So, I like to read articles, like this one in Fast Company: Dip Into Innovation: How Sabra’s CEO Is Going To Put Hummus In Every U.S. Fridge.

Cut to the chase here- the key to getting beyond trial and into the weekly menu is embracing “fusion”.  American consumers are so much more willing to add a new food to a beloved dish than they are to incorporate a new dish into their diet. Find a twist on any standard dish that drives the top chef in any household batty with its repetitiveness in their family’s repertoire and you have an almost guaranteed winner.

But getting there is not so easy.  It takes lots and lots of mouthwatering examples, otherwise known as recipes to hit on that combination of meal ideas that speak to the palate of target consumers.  It takes hours of recipe development and importantly visual and textual presentation on digital properties. In this age of social media, broadcasting is optimal…over and over on a variety of social media platforms in various guises…as a pin, as a post as a tweet .  It takes relationship building with the hundreds of thousands of chefs, dieticians, bloggers, foodies and household chefs to build an information web visible enough to change consumer behavior on an ongoing basis.

Food: Porn, Paparazzi and Pleasing To The Eye

The intersection of food and photography, while always important has, if nothing become democratized in the past few years.

Last week during Social Media Week, LA I had the opportunity to attend a few of the panels, one of which was Feed Me – How technology and social media are changing the way we eat.

I would probably be more specific. While the channels (social media, mobile computing, etc.) have changed the way we broadcast what we eat, I’d be more apt to say that the biggest revolution is the way we communicate information about food to each other. More pictures, fewer words. That is, along with taste and smell, visual appeal has gone well beyond something engaged in by food stylists to something to strive for by everyday cooks and small, hole-in-the-wall  restaurants.

A few tidbits I learned that exemplify that:

  • Over 40% of photos uploaded on Pinterest during the Superbowl were of food.
  • Desserts and well presented dishes are most shared on social media
  • Eighteen percent of food photo tweets are of food
  • Most uploaded food photos on Twitter occur at dinnertime!

My takeaway, surprisingly enough, was not “ feature lots of food photos on your brand site”. It was, what I have been successfully implementing with one of my clients right now – give your visitors an easy way to share their own food photos, recipes and tips.

Do this on your Facebook page, on Twitter and Pinterest and on your website. Easily double the number of ways you show your consumers how they can use your product by encouraging content developer fans to contribute.

And keep taking those pics yourself!